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Me, my-selfie, and I


elfies: They’re everywhere. You can’t go on the Internet and not encounter them.

The noun selfie (which the Oxford

English Dictionary named the Word of the Year in 2013) refers to the embar- rassingly pedestrian and self-absorbed phenomenon of taking one’s own photograph. To be more specific, a selfie is a “photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or a webcam and then uploaded to a social media website.” Let’s be clear about selfies. They are

not being taken for the same reasons your grandparents took photos: to document a wondrous moment or an in- teresting image. And selfies are certainly not being taken to simply store in one’s private computer photo files. The whole purpose of selfies is the celebration of, well, self. They are an exercise in media narcissism: “Hey world, look at me!” I find it amusing that the phenome-

non we call “social media” is, more often than not, less about communication and connectivity and more about media ex- hibitionism, and the number of “friends” and “followers” we have. The reality is: Media exposure does not necessarily equate to intimacy and communication. On the other hand, my heart beats

faster and I break out into a huge smile every time my grandkids send a selfie to me. After all, there is one rule of pho- tography that will always remain: A great photo is worth a thousand words. There is an undeniable element of narcissism in social media, and especially in selfies. But there is also the ability to share a moment with friends and family that they might otherwise have missed. As is true of everything, particularly on the Internet, the trick is in using good judg- ment—and knowing your audience.

Going for the gold

51-50, on a last-second layup. Afterward, the US team refused

to accept their runner-up silver medals, a stance they have stuck by ever since. Gallagher, a native New Yorker,

is a 6-foot-7 attorney in Clarendon Hills. He has been involved with basketball his whole life as a player and coach. In 2006, Gallagher began to focus on the “injustice” he’d vowed 34 years earlier to set right. He began researching and interviewing the coaches and 12 players from the 1972 team. In 2012, his research led to the publication of Stolen Glory: The U.S., the Soviet Union, and the Olympic Basketball Game That Never Ended, with co- author Mike Brewster. Gallagher doesn’t want the

Soviet Union to return its gold medals; he wants the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to award duplicate golds to the U.S. team due to improper interference with game officials. Toward that end, Gallagher


Donald “Taps” Gallagher (JD ‘83) hopes to help the 1972 US men’s basketball team secure duplicated gold medals for the game they officially lost to the Soviet Union.


onald “Taps” Gallagher (JD ’83) has spent $75,000 and eight years on an unusual quest: He hopes to secure duplicate gold medals for the US men’s basketball team

that—officially—lost to the Soviet Union at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

“I watched that game the sum-

mer of ’72 before going to college,” recalls Gallagher. “Whenever they talk about the biggest blunder, the worst ending ever in sports, this game is No. 1 every time. I said to myself, ‘This isn’t right. If I ever become a lawyer, I’m going to try to get them the gold medal.’” To recap: The US team and mil-

lions of television viewers thought the Americans were on their way to gold when Doug Collins made two

free throws to give the US a 50-49 lead with three seconds remaining. The Russians inbounded the ball, but there was confusion as Soviet players and coaches ran onto the floor and play stopped. That’s when R. William Jones, president of the International Basketball Federa- tion, bounded out of the bleachers. Rulings that Jones made regarding time on the clock resulted in the Russians getting two more chances to win the game, which they did,

hopes that Artenik Arabadjan, one of two living referees who worked the controversial game, will soon sign an affidavit citing “undue influence” from Jones. So far, the IOC has denied Gal-

lagher’s appeal for a hearing. When Gallagher met with a former IOC vice president in Montreal, how- ever, he was told that if he got the affidavit, the door will be open. If the IOC slams that door, Gal-

lagher has one last option in his playbook: a request for a hearing from the international Court of Arbitration for Sport. “Every one of these players

said, ‘I won a gold medal,’ but they weren’t sore losers,” Gallagher says. “They said if the game had been played right and they lost, they would gladly have accepted the silver medal.”


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